More Fagioli – Porpora: il maestro

Lucky us who enjoy the early 18th century repertoire! Although Baroque opera is still rather niche, the past 20 years or so have seen a steady increase in recordings, starting with a lot of Handel and Monteverdi. These days singers and conductors have become bolder and have ventured further afield, with Cavalli and Porpora getting more attention. With good reason, too, judging by the material on this CD, which I’ve had on repeat since Sunday.

If you were thinking Porpora, who? this is the disc to convince you of the man’s skills at crafting a memorable Baroque aria, be it bravura or a lyrical piece. I was, in fact, so impressed with the quality of the music included here that I’m now wondering why his stuff isn’t more popular yet. But I think it will soon be, with singers like FF promoting it. if you want to get an idea, here’s 23min of FF singing this material last week in Saint Petersburg:

Honorary mezzo FF is one of those singers you should see live to get the full picture; he’s a consumed performer, and, as I said in my recital review, his warm tone is best experienced in the flesh. So I was a bit apprehensive that the CD would not rise to the challenge of his electrifying live presence. Far from it. He and Academia Montis Regalis succeed in keeping the pizzazz high throughout the recording, with a cleverly balanced mix of fast and slow. The sign of an excellent singer is the capacity of fleshing out both blood pumping pieces and lyrical stuff. FF is equally engaging in both and I say this as a fussy listener. He really is that good.

About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on September 24, 2014, in baroque, countertenors, fachs of the world, historical timeline and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. My CD arrived today, so I’ve spent the evening happily curled up with a glass of wine and a bowl of Doritos (classy stuff here), headphones on. Being a creature of habit, I’m still most dazzled by the thing which dazzled me most at the concert: the cadenza at the end of Spesso di nubi cinto. Sheesh, it’s fabulous. It strikes me that if his high notes ever go, he has a rather lovely tenor to fall back on. 😉 I’ve now listened to that aria four times with mounting delight and plan to force it on my colleagues tomorrow. Lucky them. 🙂

    • Hehe, you’re daring! I’ve woken my neighbours a few times this week with his CD but I’ve only listened to his stuff quietly at work (youtube). I am curious where his voice will take him but luckily there are plenty low-lying Baroque roles for him to rock.

  2. google is now in the business of spying on one’s habit.. and it seems inclined to bend me a certain way.. but i curious, did it also read up on my recent whine/protest of bemf’s casting? how else did it know to suggest” such a precise video on yt?! 😀 i did enjoy the clip though, and confirmed again that i like his voice but not quite PJ’s.. and one can’t complain about lovely baroqui sound of orchestra supporting, and i quite impressed with his high notes! (not that i usually look for it, but a pleasant surprise)

    • google knows all. You like PJ better? I never quite got the hang of him, although he did jolt me into listening to CTs (I was desperately looking for a certain castrato aria (can’t remember which now! something fairly obscure) sung by a mezzo and there was not an instance of that on YT so I had to give in to PJ…).

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